Islam as Intellectual Property 'My Lord! Increase Me in Knowledge.'
Cumberland Law Review, Vol. 31, p. 361, 2000-2001
46 Pages Posted: 10 Oct 2006
The distinction between assets and ideas lies at the core of the misunderstanding between Islam and secularism, the strongest version of which is unfolding in the United States. Muslims view Islam as knowledge-based (intellectual) property, not an idea. Secularists reduce Islam to a mere idea, reserving the notion of intellectual property for literary and artistic works, inventions, patents, films, computer programs, designs, trademarks, and trade secrets. Muslims elevate the knowledge-based assets of Islam to the highest level of protection, more than the intellectual work of any scientist, artist, or corporation. Even in the face of a rising tide of secularism throughout the world, they refuse to consign their religion to the marketplace of ideas, a place where ideas are depreciated and trashed. This clash of understanding between Islam as an idea and Islam as intellectual property breeds mutual mistrust between secularists and Muslims.
Keywords: Islam, intellectual property, free speech, secularism, apostasy, Quran, Sunna
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